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Hard times: Most stressed cities in the US revealed

There are different measures of stress, both relating to an individual as well as a series of factors that can be used to profile an area.

New York's police department has promised a major deployment to ensure Donald Trump's trial passes off safely, with the force's head of intelligence John Hart calling it a 'major challenge'
New York's police department has promised a major deployment to ensure Donald Trump's trial passes off safely, with the force's head of intelligence John Hart calling it a 'major challenge' - Copyright AFP CHARLY TRIBALLEAU
New York's police department has promised a major deployment to ensure Donald Trump's trial passes off safely, with the force's head of intelligence John Hart calling it a 'major challenge' - Copyright AFP CHARLY TRIBALLEAU

Workplace-related stress costs the U.S. economy an estimated $300 billion per year. However, the geographical impact of stress among the population varies, leading to some areas of the country being better equipped than others to address the underlying causes of stress.

To examine these patterns, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2024’s Most & Least Stressed Cities in America, to show where people are struggling and may need assistance.

There are different measures of stress, both relating to an individual as well as a series of factors that can be used to profile an area. To gather the data, WalletHub compared more than 180 cities across 39 key metrics. The data set ranges from average weekly work hours to the unemployment rate to divorce and suicide rates.

This produced a top-ten ranking of the most stressed cities in the U.S,:

1. Cleveland, OH

2. Detroit, MI

3. Baltimore, MD

4. Memphis, TN

5. Gulfport, MS

6. Philadelphia, PA

7. Birmingham, AL

8. Akron, OH

9. New Orleans, LA

10. Jackson, MS

At the other end of the scale, the least stressed cities were found to be:

173. Overland Park, KS

174. Portland, ME

175. Nashua, NH

176. Boise, ID

177. Sioux Falls, SD

178. Bismarck, ND

179. Lincoln, NE

180. Fargo, ND

181. South Burlington, VT

182. Fremont, CA

Within these poles, there are some interesting variations. Miami and Hialeah, Florida, were established as having the lowest unemployment rate, which is 5.9 times lower than in Detroit, Michigan the city with the highest. A similar factor is income. Columbia, Maryland, has the highest median annual household income (adjusted by cost of living), which is 3.3 times higher than in Detroit, the city with the lowest.

Another measure used is marital stability. Here, Fremont, California, has the lowest divorce rate, which is 4.6 times lower than in Detroit, Michigan, the city with the highest.

Looking at health, Portland, Maine, has the lowest share of adults in fair or poor health, which is 2.5 times lower than in Huntington, West Virginia, the city with the highest.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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